A KNIFE-wielding robber stormed into two Southampton banks within minutes of each other on a city high street.

Nationwide and Santander banks on Shirley High Street were closed yesterday afternoon after a man brandished a knife and demanded money.

Staff were left ‘shaken’ after the incidents, which saw the robber leave empty handed.

The incident happened just before 2pm, but police say that although the same man went into Nationwide, he did not commit an offence.

A statement from Hampshire Constabulary said: “We were called just before 2pm to a report of a man with a knife demanding money in Santander Bank.

“Bank staff didn’t hand over any money and activated the emergency shutters. The man then ran off empty handed. At this early stage of the investigation, enquiries are ongoing.”

Santander said they were assisting police with their probe into the robbery.

A spokesperson said: “We are offering support and counselling to any colleagues who need it, and ask for customer patience while the branch remains closed.”

The incident comes after a string of 18 robberies in shops and off-licences across Southampton and Eastleigh since November 20.

It is not known if the bank incidents are being linked with these at this time.